Wednesday, August 10, 2011

...Merriman's (Kauai, Hawaii)

Overall - 9/10
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Food -  9.5/10
Service - 9/10
Ambiance- 9/10



Merriman's Poipu on Urbanspoon



Our final meal during our two week trip to the Hawaiian islands was at Merriman's in the town Po'ipu on the island of Kauai. After having many memorable meals we were hopeful that our good luck with food would continue. In the past our experience with restaurants who have multiple locations hasn't always been the best, with the new startups never really being quite as good as the original. Merriman's though with several other establishments across the Hawaiian islands has definitely bucked this trend, with their goal of highlighting fresh local ingredients and Hawaiian cuisine definitely being achieved at their Po'ipu location.




Upon entering we were greeted by a number of warm and friendly staff and seated on the patio which boasted amazing views of both sea, sky and mountain. The first class scenery and service foreshadowed the great meal to come. Our first course included the poke trio and steamed manila clams served with a coconut green curry broth. The trio included a coconut lime flavoured opa,  shoyu ahi and spicy lobster pokes. Different from the other pokes we've tried, the fish was much less stringy salty than at other establishments. The coconut green curry broth served with the clams was completely sopped up with the house baked focaccia bread served alongside.
Steamed manila clams in a coconut green curry broth 
Poke trio
Our sampling of main courses included seared sea scallops served with bacon and creamed corn, macadamia crusted monchong served with a sake mushroom reduction, sesame crusted opa, and a coconut seafood medley. In general each dish was flavourful and well prepared with excellent presentation. Standouts included the sea scallops which were perfectly seared and a great match to the creamy corn and crispy bacon. The monchong or pomfret was a fish I had never tried before, but was pleasantly surprised by its great moisture and fine flaky flesh. It too was a great match with the earthy mushroom sauce it was served with. The opa however was on the dry side which may be related more to its lack of inherent oiliness than to overcooking but was disappointing nevertheless considering it was presented so well with such vibrant colours.
Sesame crusted opa
Macademia nut crusted monchong
Seafood medley
Seared sea scallops with cream corn and bacon 
Crab stuffed lobster
Shrimp scampi
Dessert was another highlight of the meal. The molten chocolate cake was not too sweet and had a hint of salt that really brought out the rich chocolate flavour. Next were the white chocolate and coconut filled doughnuts served with caramel sauce also capped off our meal nicely.
White chocolate and coconut filled doughnuts
Molton dark chocolate cake

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